Omicron variant dominates as cases and hospitalizations spike


In its weekly summary,  the  Delaware Division of Public Health reported the highest number of new positive daily cases of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 4,771 positive results reported to the state Friday, Jan. 7.

The faster-spreading Omicron variant now accounts for more than nine in 10 cases of Covid-19, based on a sampling of test specimens.

In addition, current Covid-19 hospitalizations surpassed the record high this week, with 759 individuals hospitalized as of Wednesday, Jan. 12. The number of hospitalizations declined on Thursday but remained near the record.

Covid-19 Cases and Hospitalizations:

  • Total positive cases since March 11, 2020: 221,811
  • Seven-day average of new positive cases: 3,153.1, increasing from 2,738.4 last week.
  • The seven-day average for the percentage of total positive tests: 32%, an increase from 28.3% last week
  • Hospitalizations: 729, an increase of 37 from last week; critically ill: 69, an increase of six from last week 
  • Total Covid-19 deaths: 2,396
  • Total Covid-19 deaths reported since last week: 66, including 20 from a review of vital statistics records.  

Covid-19 vaccinations: 

  • Total number of doses administered in Delaware: 1,599,196
  • Percentage of Delawareans 5-plus who received at least one dose (CDC data): 82.9%
  • Percentage of Delawareans 12-plus  who have received at least one dose (CDC data): 88.2% 
  • Percentage of Delawareans 18-plus  who received at least one dose (CDC data): 90.2%
  • Percent of Delawareans who are fully vaccinated (CDC data): 65% 

Covid-19 Case vaccination status report:  

The following reports capture a weekly breakdown of vaccination status for cases, deaths, and hospitalizations for the time frame for Jan. 3-Jan. 9.

Weekly Overview
(1/3/22- 1/9/22)
Unvaccinated Cases
Total Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 11832
Total Cases 22173
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Cases 53%
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 241
Total Hospitalized Cases 405
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated Hospitalized  Cases 60%
Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 23
Total COVID-19 Deaths 32
Percent of Unvaccinated / Partially Vaccinated COVID-19 Deaths 72%


Breakthrough Cases (cumulative since vaccinations began

  • Total breakthrough cases: 14,801, or 2.5% of fully vaccinated individuals 
  • Total breakthrough hospitalizations: 179
  • Total breakthrough deaths: 155

A breakthrough case is defined as testing positive for Covid-19 after an individual has been fully vaccinated for two weeks or more. 

COVID-19 variant cases in Delaware   

Of the samples collected during the week of Dec. 24 – Dec. 30, the Omicron variant represented 93% of cases sequenced for a variant of concern, a variant of interest, or a variant being monitored. The remaining 7% of sequenced cases were identified as Delta.

As a reminder, DPH is now providing variant data based on sample collection date rather than sequencing date due to the length of time between sample collection (when a person is tested). When samples are sequenced by laboratories, which can be lagged by two weeks or longer, This will more accurately reflect the proportion of specific variants circulating in the community at various points in time.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory and other laboratories regularly monitor for the presence of COVID-19 variants, including Delta and Omicron, through routine genomic sequencing of test specimens. Sampling is not used to diagnose individuals with a specific strain of Covid-19, as treatment recommendations do not differ based on variant strains.

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